James Bond is not just a character. The concept proved itself to be a huge success. And why wouldn’t it be, after mixing together sophisticated secret agents, beautiful and intelligent women, action, mystery, fascinating places, beautiful cars…
But do you know one other thing that makes a movie unforgettable? A good theme.
Sometimes the theme is so great that it sticks in your mind. You may utterly forget about the movie itself, but about those bars – no way.
Let’s make a chronological incursion through ALL the music themes from the James Bond movies! We shall see how many of them you can recognize. You are in for some big surprises! (How about a very well-known hard-rock tune?!)
James Bond Theme Music
Of course, we cannot begin other than with the famous theme music of the Agent 007 movies. Dum di-di dum dum… Anybody can recognize this one after only a few notes.
It was composed by Monty Norman. But don’t imagine that he beat his brains out about it. He took his inspiration from a musical also composed by him. More specifically from the song “Good Sign Bad Sign”, performed by an Indian character. (Do you realize what kind of James Bond movies Bollywood might have produced?!)
Until 1999, Monty Norman had earned 485,000 pounds from this theme song copyright 1)”Monty Norman v. The Sunday Times” by James Ollinger. Not even the actors who interpreted James Bond earned so much money! (Don’t you feel a bit like taking up writing soundtracks?!)
The original version was recorded on the 21st of June 1962 2)”Monty Norman v. The Sunday Times” by James Ollinger. Those very distinct guitar sounds come from an English Clifford Essex Paragon Deluxe, an instrument used by the guitar player Vic Flick. He cashed in the extraordinary amount of… 7 pounds 3)”£30,000 damages for composer of 007 theme tune” by Neil Tweedie, article published in The Telegraph on March 20, 2001 (payed on the nail, witout any additional rights).
Meanwhile, there have appeared more than 70 different versions, including one played by Fanfare Ciocarlia from Romania:
This theme song also appears in the great many James Bond video games, even back when the sound was produced by 8-bit quantization. (If you remember those times, then Nostalgia must be knocking on your door.)
Something so famous couldn’t have gotten away without being subject to parody, both from a musical and a visual point of view. Mister Bean is a killer playing James Bond:
- Introduction + James Bond theme
- 1962: Kingston Calypso (Dr. No)
- 1963: James Bond Is Back / From Russia with Love / James Bond Theme
- 1964: Goldfinger
- 1965: Thunderball
- 1967: You Only Live Twice
- 1969: On Her Majesty's Secret Service
- 1971: Diamonds Are Forever
- 1973: Live and Let Die
- 1974: The Man with the Golden Gun
- 1977: Nobody Does It Better (The Spy Who Loved Me)
- 1979: Moonraker
- 1981: For Your Eyes Only
- 1983: All Time High (Octopussy)
- 1985: A View to a Kill
- 1987: The Living Daylights
- 1989: Licence to Kill
- 1995: GoldenEye
- 1997: Tomorrow Never Dies
- 1999: The World Is Not Enough
- 2002: Die Another Day
- 2006: You Know My Name (Casino Royale)
- 2008: Another Way to Die (Quantum of Solace)
- 2012: Skyfall
- 2015: Writing's on the Wall (Spectre)
A surprising series of re-orchestrations that were originally classic songs, in heavy metal style
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